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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Dechamp Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dechamp Records. Show all posts

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dechamp Records artist: JJ Thames - Raw Sugar - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Raw Sugar, from JJ Thames and it's rich. Following on the coattails of her spectacular release Tell You What I Know Thames keeps it rolling. Opening with Oh Lord, a simple spiritual blues, the instrumentation is kept to a minimum with Joe Seamons on acoustic guitar and backing vocal and Ben Hunter on mandolin surrounded by a wealth of warm vocals. Hattie Pearl kicks into high gear with Darryl Sanford on rockin piano and with Kimble Funchess on trumpet, Jessie Primer III on sax and Robert Lamkin on trombone. Shuffle track, I'm Leavin' features Eddie Cotton Jr. on guitar and Thames is really moving with Anthony Daniels on bass, John Blackmon on drums and Sanford on keys. Leftovers is a funky, jazz pop track with a strong bass line by Daniels. Thames' vocals are well blended and the melody is radio bound. Bluesy, Woman Scorned, sets a real nice stage with Cotton playing a smoking opener. Thames's delivery is powerful and her vocals inviting. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Only Fool Was Me with particularly soulful vocals from Thames and a really nice solo from Primer. Bad Man rides high on a great blues riff by Cotton and Daniels. Cotton takes a cutting solo swaddled in horns by Funchese, Primer and Lamkin. Very nice. Ballad, Hold Me, is rich in blues and soul. I really like this track with sweetly interwoven vocals. Excellent. Blues track, Don't Stop My Shine has a real funky bottom thanks to Daniels and you can feel Thames strut as she sings. With horns a blazing, and a solid key solo by Sanford, this track is really hot. I Don't feel Nothing has a clever interplay between blues and jazz, featuring Cotton and stinging guitar riffs and snappy drum licks by Blackmon. Plan B (Abortion Blues) has a real nice neo soul feel and Thames really shines. With it's light backing, Thames vocals float on the music. Really nice. Title track, Raw Sugar, sets up with Cotton laying out some hot blues riffs and developing into a down n dirty blues ballad. Thames fuels the fire vocally and Cotton really builds up steam backed by Sanford. Wrapping the release is I Wanna Fall In Love, a brighter R&B style track. Thames warm harmonies, backed by easy horn work sets the pace and Lamkin takes a sassy trombone solo giving the track a boot. Very nice closer to a solid release.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Dechamp Records artist: Eddie Cotton - One At A Time - New Release review

I just received the newest release, One At A Time, from Eddie Cotton and it's a great followup to his first release, Here I Come which was on my favorites list from last year!
This release is off and running from the start with title track, One At A Time, a soulful blues track with Cotton on vocal and hot guitar riffs.
James "Hotdog" Lewis , who passed away only a week ago today adds some real nice keyboard work on this release.With Myron Scott laying down a nice bass line and Samuel Scott Jr. on drums this track is moving, nicely complimented by Kimble Funchess on trumpet, Jessie Primer III on sax and Mike Weidick on trombone. Very nice! With it's super walking bass line by Bennett, Be Careful has a classic blues sound but with a definite R&B overtone. Cotton has a great voice and Carlos Russell adds harp giving it a cool contemporary feel. People keep commenting that we have to keep the blues alive. This is positive proof that all you got to do is play good blues and it will spring to life. Super! Slow blues number, Better Deal gives Cotton a real nice opportunity to lay it all out and that's exactly what he does. With a hot and crispy extended guitar intro, Cotton sets the fire and with his vocals he fans the flames. Hotdog's contributions on this track add a lot of texture and Bennett's bass sets the stage. Cotton has a real nice ability to play under the lead vocal with hot guitar riffs keeping you on edge awaiting his solo and he doesn't disappoint. Cotton is fluid and emotional with a great feel for phrasing. Excellent! Catch I Wanted is funky with cool horns and Al Green like vocals. Hi steppin and happy, this is a great track! R&B track, Dead End Street, has really nice harmonies with JJ Thames who's release Tell You What I Know was also on my favorites list last year! A smooth and mellow track with strong radio potential. Texas style, Fair Weather Lover, shows Cotton's influence by Albert King with strong stinging guitar riffs and phrasing. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a perfect balance between Cotton's vocal and solid guitar riffs. This guy is sorely underrated as a guitar player with clear, fresh phrases and stinging punctuation. Funky, Filling Me With Pleasure, finds Cotton on slide and Mayfield like falsetto. Bennett again gives the track spring and Hotdog and the Jackson Horns punch. Lumbering blues track, Hard Race To Win, again rides tight on the back of Bennett on bass. Cotton knows how to lay back and sing the blues with a solid platform under his feet and injecting clever riffs of texture. I really like his style and the little pieces of history I hear in his delivery. His vocal phrasing even hints at James Brown. Je Ne Sais Quoi has a real nice strut that defies you to sit still in your seat. Hotdog rides hard on the organ giving it a spiritual quality but Bennett digs in on bass making you bob you head. Cotton's smooth vocals and easy rhythm guitar is just right. Shuffle track, Mississippi, is uptempo BB King style without the fist clap. Cotton is showing that he has what it takes to be today's top blues performer with Russell and John Genous on backing vocal. Hotdog rides the wave on keys and Cotton stylistically grooves along on guitar over the melody. Very nice! On more casual blues number, My Money, Grady Champion who's last release Bootleg Whiskey was reviewed here as well, joins on harp. This track has a real nice blend of Hotdog's excellent piano riffs, Cotton's clever guitar riffs and Champions harp texture making it a real easy going blues number. Getting back into the R&B styling, Ego At Your Door, is a super track with very strong backing vocals from Thames. Hotdog again on organ gives the track excellent warmth and the Jackson Horns do a real nice job of giving the track it's wind. I really like this track and it's gospel R&B style roots. Excellent! Race To The Dollar has a real nice fusion of R&B and blues with Al Green style vocals and SRV style guitar riffs. Cotton has his own voice and his own style but keynotes to the past are his stepping stones. Very nice job! Wrapping the release is a solemn blues number, War Is Over. Cotton musters the most soulful vocals on the release on this track and his guitar riffs are light and tasty. With a solid bass line from Bennett, simple keyboard tension from Hotdog and straight drum line from Scott this track is wide open for Cotton to place his shots just where he wants them. Confidently placed and soulfully expressed, this track is an excellent closer to an excellent release!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

DeChamp Records artist: JJ Thames - Tell You What I Know - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Tell You What I Know, from JJ Thames and it's excellent. The opener is Souled Out, a rich mixture of soul and spiritual with Thames rich lead vocals backed by warm harmonic backing vocals on a gospel rhythm. Hey You walks the line between soul and blues again with rich spiritual backing. Thames has a super voice and Celeb Armstrong adds a guitar vamp reinforcing the blues root. I Got What You Need has a super R&B sound with Grady Champion on harp and rich horns by Richard Beverly (trumpet), Todd Bobo (sax)and Mike Weidick (trombone).Thames has a powerful instrument in her voice and she uses it amply. My Kinda Man has a real slinky feel and soft neo soul delivery. I really like this track. It just has that "right groove". Thames sings with strong convicted emotion making this song particularly powerful. No Turning Back has a bluesy feel with that R&B step. Sam Brady carries a lot of the support on keys and Vince Barranco is solid on drums. Eddie Cotton lays down some stinging guitar work to top this track off! Can You Let Someone Else Be Strong is a soulful ballad which is nicely arranged and executed. I'Ma Make It is a high stepping R&B track with saucy attitude. Champion adds clever harp riffs adding spice here and there. On Ray Charles' I Believe, the horn section is used as crisp punctuation to sophistocated blues number with really nice key work from Brady. The vocals are always top notch on this release and Thames controls the temptation to grand stand as is so popular these days. Very nice. Just Enough has an Al Green feel with bassisit David Hyde really leading the way. (really nice David). This track really hits a strong groove and with the inclusion of a tasty guitar solo by Danny Scallions  may be one of my favorites on the release. Wrapping the release is title track, Tell You What I Know, soul delivered Philly style. I really have a soft spot for the Philly soul and I love this track. Thames steps up like she has it in her blood and with her gripping lead vocals and well balanced backing vocals leaves you wanting much more. Excellent!

If you have an inkling toward soul or neo soul music with a light blues twist, this is really a release that you should check!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Friday, January 10, 2014

DeChamp Records artist: Eddie Cotton - Here I Come - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (January 21, 2014), Here I Come, from Eddie Cotton and it's a hot mix of Blues, Soul and R&B. Opening with the title track, Here I Come, Cotton wastes no time letting you know that he has a great voice and a strong understanding of blues guitar phrasing. This R&B infused blues track is really hot! A Woman's Love, is another strong entry with soulful blues vocals and stinging guitar riffs. Sam Brady adds warmth on this track with organ but it's the spot on vocals and gripping guitar riffs that makes this track tick. Samuel Scott Jr adds drums and Myron Bennett bass for this, one of my favorite tracks on the release. Pay To Play is a fast paced shuffle track with a lot of BB King feel. Cotton steps up again showing his guitar chops and he is really on it. Nice! Friend To The End is a soul style ballad, vocals handled with the craftsmanship of Curtis Mayfield. Really Nice! Get Your Own has a big time James Brown feel but without the horns. My Boo has a real nice step to it putting me in mind of Al Green. Cotton uses his guitar sparingly but effectively on this track. This is some serious stuff here! Leave Love Alone is a updated blues vamp (Wang Dang Doodle) with hollerin and harpin by Grady Champion. Back In A Bit is a stylized blues track with some soul wrapped in. Carlos Russell adds some nice harp work melody on this track as well. No Love Back could be right out of the Curtis Mayfield songbook. I really love Mayfield so that's a good thing. Emphasis on vocals and vocal harmonies carry this track but the tight bottom on this track is really down. Another of my favorite tracks of the release! Berry So Black, a simple blues shuffle, wraps the release with a nice bow. Grady Champion is back on harp and takes the lead on soloing. He does a real nice job but I keep waiting to hear Cotton bust loose one more time. Yeah... keeps you wanting more!

 This is a release that should hit ever blues lovers disc player once..and stay on most.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”
This is not from the new release but a good example of Cotton's sound: